Guti, Raul end their Bernabeu careers

Real Madrid legends Raul and midfielder Guti have decided to end their careers at the Santiago Bernabeu, after they were told by new manager Jose Murinho that they weren’t in his grand plans for the new season and they may have to spend another season being frustrated on the bench.

Raul

Real Madrid officially confirmed on Sunday that Bernabeu legend Raul was to leave the club and will hold a farewell press conference on Monday. It had long been thought the veteran striker, who has spent his entire career with the Spanish giants, was set to leave this summer, with Bundesliga side Schalke heading the race for his signature. Raul, who has been at Madrid since joining their youth team in 1992 and is the club’s all-time top goalscorer, signed a life contract in 2008 which sees his deal automatically renewed should he play at least 30 games a season. The 33 year-old achieved that in 2009-10 but, with his influence on the pitch waning following an influx of big-name players last summer and more seemingly set to follow in the coming months, he has decided to quit the Bernabeu.

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Earlier on Sunday, Schalke all but confirmed they are set to sign Raul after coach Felix Magath said:

“He will be a sensation in the Bundesliga. He will be an important player for us and will give a lot to the team.”

Vice-captain Guti has also drawn a close on his 15-year professional spell with Real Madrid. The 33-year-old has departed the Spanish giants following a lengthy period with the club, making his debut in December 1995. Guti actually joined the club as a nine-year-old and was part of the furniture at Los Merengues, but Turkish outfit Besiktas are now set to sign him on a free transfer. If the former Spain international does make the switch to Turkey, he will link up with former Madrid boss Bernd Schuster, who is currently in charge of Besiktas.

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Guti played 542 matches in a number of positions, scoring 77 goals and winning 15 trophies including five league titles and three UEFA Champions League triumphs. He said at a press conference in Madrid:

“Thank you to everyone. I go knowing that Real Madridwill always be my home. I leave knowing that Real Madrid wants me and that is very important.”

On the possibility of a move to Besiktas, he added: “I have a good offer from them, an interesting one, now we’ll see. It wasn’t an easy decision.”


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